What’s in the Debt-Limit Deal?

Finally, an answer.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) arrives at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
Brian Resnick
Oct. 16, 2013, 1:40 p.m.

Here they are, the stip­u­la­tions of the le­gis­la­tion that will re­open the gov­ern­ment after 16 days of back-and-forth ef­forts that went nowhere, Re­pub­lic­an in­fight­ing, hy­per­bole, and al­co­hol.

Here’s what we know Re­pub­lic­an and Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors have agreed to:

  • Re­open the gov­ern­ment, and fund it through Jan. 15.
  • Push back the debt ceil­ing un­til Feb. 7.
  • Con­vene a con­fer­ence com­mit­tee (led by Sen­ate Budge Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Patty Mur­ray, D-Wash., and House Budget Com­mit­tee Chair­man Paul Ry­an, R-Wis.) to shape a longer-term budget (does this sound fa­mil­i­ar?) that would ad­dress wheth­er se­quester-level spend­ing cuts will be here to stay.
  • In a small con­ces­sion — and the only change to the health care law — Demo­crats agreed to a meas­ure to en­sure those who re­ceive sub­sidies to buy health care meet eli­gib­il­ity re­quire­ments. White House spokes­per­son Jay Car­ney as­sures that this does not amount to “ransom” and main­tains the pres­id­ent’s line that he would not ne­go­ti­ate over the debt ceil­ing.
  • Give back pay to fed­er­al work­ers fur­loughed dur­ing the shut­down.

So how have things changed in the past 16 days?

  • The gov­ern­ment has wasted mil­lions of dol­lars pay­ing its work­ers for not work­ing. 
  • S&P es­tim­ates that the shut­down de­creased GDP growth by .6 per­cent, amount­ing to $24-bil­lion bite out of the eco­nomy.
  • It will now be slightly more dif­fi­cult to scam the gov­ern­ment for health care sub­sidies.
  • A ma­jor cred­it-eval­u­ation agency has threatened to down­grade the U.S. cred­it rat­ing.
  • The GOP’s fa­vor­ab­il­ity rat­ings plummeted to a re­cord low for any party.
  • Just 5 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans thought Con­gress was do­ing a good job.
  • The tea party is as un­pop­u­lar as ever.
  • Fur­loughed work­ers drank a bunch.
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